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Park City Holds On To Defeat Riverton

Park City v. Riverton LacrosseOn a beautiful Thursday at South Jordan Middle School, Park City took on Riverton in a battle of Division I contenders. The game had to be moved from Riverton’s home field due to flooding, putting the teams at a neutral site on a shortened field.
“On a small field it gets crowded,” said Park City Head Coach Andy Langendorf, “it was not an overly-disciplined game from either side…there were lots of mental errors.” But the sloppy play didn’t keep the Miners from picking up a key road win as they held on for the 8-7 victory.
Things looked pretty even in the first quarter with Park City grabbing two early goals on a Max Zilvitis bounce shot and a Chad Merrick dodge from the wing, and Riverton responding with Clay Nix taking a clear coast-to-coast for the score and Zac Tueller dodging hard and dumping the ball to an uncovered Jared Mohney on the crease for the goal and tying things at 2-2. The Silverwolf D started playing very physical and things got a little chippy, resulting in simultaneous conduct fouls on both teams. Park City’s Kolton Atkinson took advantage of the five-on-five situation and dodged for a goal to put the Miners up 3-2 to close out the quarter.
The wind picked up in the second quarter, as did the defensive intensity. Several yard-sale checks and gusts of wind blowing the ball off course kept the ball mostly on the ground and out of the back of the net for the first six minutes of the quarter. Riverton’s Peter Gibson apparently had enough of the back-and-forth and found a cutting Skyler Lewis on the doorstep for the goal, knotting the score at 3-3. Park City looked like they’d pull ahead when Silverwolf keeper Chad Wood dropped the ball while out of the cage, but he made a spectacular save by diving back into the goal and deflecting the Miner’s shot. On the ensuing clear, two penalties on the Miners appeared to give an easy goal to Riverton, but the Park City man-down (two men down) unit played tough, getting the ball back and pushing it forward for a fastbreak. Miner attack Chad Merrick was able to finish strong and net a shorthanded goal, giving the Miners a 4-3 edge. After a long struggle for the ensuing faceoff, the Silverwolves came up with the ball and worked it around the cage with only twenty seconds on the clock. A Riverton feed to the doorstep appeared to give them the equalizing goal going into the half, but the goal was waved off, coming just after the buzzer.
The third quarter started much like the second, and physical play and penalties kept either team from gaining any momentum. The teams traded goals halfway through with Park City’s Partick O’Brien
scoring off a wing dodge and Riverton’s Clay Nix scoring with a hard rip from the top of the box. The Miners then put together a three-goal run to finish the quarter; junior middie Christian Pompoco ran around the entire offensive end until he lost his man and put one on the cage, then sophomore middie Cole Flinders used great cuts and feeds from teammates to net back-to-back goals and push Park City to its biggest lead of the afternoon, 8-4.
The Silverwolves weren’t about to go quietly, however, and came out swinging in the fourth quarter. Mohney grabbed a ball dropped by the Park City goalie on an attempted clear and put in the easy
goal to grab some momentum. Both teams then got several shots on cage, but Park City keeper Sheridan Buchholz and Riverton’s Chad Wood both kept the ball from getting between the pipes with some spectacular saves. The stalemate wouldn’t last, however, as Nix capped off a hat-trick for the Silverwolves, tickling the twine for the third time in the game and bringing the score to 6-8. Park City,
clinging to a two-goal lead, tried desperately to run out the clock, but Riverton’s physical D got the ball on the ground and eventually came up with it. With a minute and a half remaining, Riverton attack Skyler Lewis caught and finished on the crease to make it a one goal game. After a furious fight for the ground ball on the ensuing faceoff, the Miners controlled the ball and were able to bleed away the remaining time on the clock to preserve the 8-7 victory.
When asked about holding on for the win, Langendorf said, “We’ve been getting into the locker room before it’s over [letting teams come back] and we can’t win that way versus better teams. Sheridan, our freshman goalie, was the difference for us in the game. We’ve got a lot of youth on the team, we can build on that…when a freshman steps up like that, it says a lot about our program.”
Park City will take on Bingham in a battle of the Miners next Tuesday, April 9, and Riverton will be on the road against Bountiful on the same day.

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